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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 550481 times)
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Tibrogargan
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« Reply #140 on: February 06, 2007, 09:37:01 PM »

Another good explanation of the Wallace Line and our own Aborigines:  

WALLACE'S LINE

by John H. Lienhard

    Today, we cross Wallace's line. The University of Houston's College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.

    Physiologist Jared Diamond makes a pilgrimage to Wallace's line -- an imaginary line separating Borneo and Java from the Celebes and other islands to the southeast. "[Crossing] that line," he says, "may have been what made our ancestors truly human."

    Alfred Russel Wallace was the now-almost-forgotten co-discoverer of the theory of evolution. Darwin had pretty well formulated the theory when he learned that Wallace was about to publish a similar idea. When Wallace heard about Darwin, he politely stood aside and let Darwin publish first.

    Among many contributions, Wallace identified the demarcation between species of southeast Asia and completely different species in Australia and New Guinea. There are other such regions. The Sahara is one. A band from northwest India through the Himalayas and Indochina forms another such zone of separation. But Wallace's line has special importance.

    For a long time, we've known that modern humans evolved in Africa 100,000 or so years ago, and that they began making dramatic art and tools in Europe 30 or 40 thousand years ago. But we've paid scant attention to the world southeast of Wallace's line.

    The so-called Java Ape Man fossils make it clear that ancestors of modern humans reached southeast Asia a million years ago. Java Man got as far as Borneo and Java over land links that existed before the glacial epochs. But those links ended there, and he couldn't get to New Guinea and Australia.

    Yet modern humans have occupied Australia for 60,000 years. Somehow, modern humans appeared in Java Man's world, and they managed to go island-hopping all the way to Australia. There they practiced advanced art and technology that rivals what we find in the caves of central Europe. The catch is, they did so much earlier than the European Cro-Magnons.

    And so, Jared Diamond observes, we were the one species that lived on both sides of Wallace's line. The crucible of human creativity might well have been Australia. He believes the art and technology of Australian aborigines slowly trickled back and eventually reached Europe. Diamond thinks that crossing Wallace's line was the giant step that made us into a technological species.

    Eventually, the vast geography and resources of Eurasia allowed the aborigines' cousins to run ahead -- to invent writing and the wheel, to build canons and cathedrals. Eventually, when Dutch and English navigators found their way back to Australia, all they saw were shockingly primitive humans. They had no way to see the sophistication of their survival strategies.

    And they had no idea they should be saying "Thank you" to their ancient teachers.

    I'm John Lienhard, at the University of Houston, where we're interested in the way inventive minds work.

******************************************
 
My note  For those monkeys who wish to read more about this, there is a very good article by a journalist who travelled through these areas but it is a bit too long to print here so I will just give you the link.  I would be interested in your comments on this article.  Thanks in advance.

www.discover.com/issues/aug-97/features/mrwallacesline1198/
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« Reply #141 on: February 07, 2007, 04:43:20 PM »

This is how most people think of Aussies :



One of our prettiest little birds - an Azure Kingfisher.  



Looks like the Pumpkin Ale from IBE's party was too much for our friend :

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« Reply #142 on: February 08, 2007, 03:22:57 AM »

BROOME  AND CABLE BEACH IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

 The sun is setting over the 22 kilometre stretch of white sand that is Broome’s Cable Beach. A small crowd has gathered to watch as the sun, now a disc of deep red, sinks into the Indian Ocean.

One or two people linger at the water’s edge, refusing to relinquish the day, while a trail of camels stroll along the sand, giving visitors one of Broome’s most famous experiences – a sunset camel ride.  You see them returning from the beach duty in the evening just after sunset.  The leading and last camels carry bike lights and they silently and slowly pad along the side of the ashphalt.

Cable Beach is one of Western Australia’s most popular beaches and one of the most compelling reasons to visit Broome.  The extraordinary 10 metre tides mean the water is sometimes a long walk but a dip in the warm Indian Ocean is worth the effort.

Sitting just 18 degrees from the equator, Broome has a year-round warm and tropical climate, which encourages relaxation and an outdoors lifestyle.
 
 This exotic town was once the pearling capital of the world and drew its population from a range of nations including China, Japan, Malaysia and the Middle East whose people flocked to the shores of Roebuck Bay in the hope of making a fortune. Some did and others weren’t so lucky, but this colourful history has resulted in the multi-cultural feel Broome has today.

At Sun Pictures, the oldest operating picture garden, visitors enjoy a movie from a deck chair under the stars. This open-air cinema has withstood the ravages of war, cyclones and king tides to become a distinctively Broome experience.

The climate has played a major role in the architecture of the town.  Many of the older buildings have wide verandahs, fine latticework, shutters and corrugated iron roofs to allow cooling breezes to flow through, as well as to cope with heavy rains.

Inland from Broome, the rains provide some incredible natural scenery including the thundering power of the waterfalls in the east Kimberley.

The cascading waters of the Mitchell Plateau and King George Falls are perhaps best accessed by air, also the World Heritage listed Bungle Bungle massif in the Purnululu National Park.



Roebuck Bay



Red Sandstone Cliffs



Manning Creek



Bungle Bungles

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« Reply #143 on: February 08, 2007, 03:56:20 AM »

CULTIVATION OF PEARLS

The pearl industry has done an about face over the past 120 years.  In the early days, divers in the tropical waters off the Kimberley coast sought the highly prized mother of pearl shell that was used to make buttons, jewellery, hair clips and decorative objects.  Natural pearls were a bonus – a byproduct of the shell harvest.

While plastics killed demand for mother of pearl in the 1900s, Japanese pearl farmer Kokichi Mikimoto had by then perfected the technique for producing cultured pearls and a new industry was born.  The cultured pearl industry began in Broome during the 1950s and today the Australian pearling industry produces some of the world’s finest pearls.  So how do they do it?

Live oysters are gathered from the wild (under a strictly controlled licence system)  High skilled – and highly paid – technicians working under sterile conditions delicately make a slit near the oyster’s reproductive organ and insert a tiny piece of mantle tissue from another oyster followed by a nucleus, a small sphere taken from the shell of an American mussel. Nacre, the same substance coating the interior of the oyster’s shell, is produced in a sac formed by the inserted mantle tissue.  Over time, nacre coats the nucleus to produce pearls.  After at least two years in the deep – many miles off the coast – south sea pearls are harvested.

There are basically four types of pearls  :

CULTURED South Sea Pearls.  These pearls range from 8mm to 18mm and come in many shapes and colours.

KESHI.  Japanese for poppyseed  and these pearls are as close as possible to a natural gem  from a farm environment.  Small and irregular, they are produced without a nucleus being implanted.

MABE.  These are half pearls grown on half nuclei stuck to the inside of the mother of pearl shell.

FRESHWATER.  Grown mostly in lakes and streams in China and India, they are cultivated in mussels – up to 30 in each.  They are 4mm to 8 mm and vary in colour and shape.  

Pearling Luggers



Steep Cliffs near Broome

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« Reply #144 on: February 08, 2007, 03:42:50 PM »

I love this thread.  You have the coolest CONTINENT!  Thanks for sharing.

Now it's my turn.  I adore You Tube.  I found this the other day and thought immediately of you!  And learned more new things about Australia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INdjRCNcZj0
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« Reply #145 on: February 08, 2007, 04:07:03 PM »

Peaches  Thank you!!   That is just such a great video.

You must have read my mind as last night I thought of doing something about Waltzing Matilda as it is so well known everywhere.  Thank you again and I am glad you are enjoying this thread.  I know I am enjoying finding articles and the pictures  to match.
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« Reply #146 on: February 08, 2007, 09:25:01 PM »

SOME OF OUR NASTIER CREATURES

BLUE RINGED OCTOPUS

This is an attractive little creature that lives in the rock pools on the shore.  When threatened it “pulses” luminous bright blue rings on its body.  It’s bite is painless and will only occur if it is handled.



PORTUGUESE MAN-O-WAR

Also known as Bluebottles, these are found on most beaches around the country and are really a colony of small creatures living as one.  Small stinging cells which when encountered as a group impart a venomous sting.  People susceptible to bee stings are also usually sensitive to the Bluebottle venom.



RED BACK SPIDERS

This spider with the telltale red or orange mark on its thorax is the female of the species.  The Red-Back spider is common all over Australia, and its preferred habitat is under any old building material, or inside sheds and garages.

The spider’s bite is not generally regarded as fatal, although there are recorded deaths prior to the introduction of the anti-venom. Less than 20% of bites actually result in significant envenomation, but generally, the bite is very painful, and causes distress.



FUNNEL WEB SPIDERS

The Sydney Funnel Web spider is considered to be the most venomous spider in the world. It is found in the NSW coastal zone from Nelson’s Bay to Nowra. Its habitat is under rocks and houses, in a web-lined burrow. The spider is very aggressive and will attack at the slightest provocation.

Despite its fearsome reputation, there are only 14 recorded deaths due to funnel web spider bite. However, when the spider does inject a dangerous quantity of venom, the effects can be rapid and severe, and death within an hour may occur.

A second type of spider called the Bush (or Blue Mountains) Funnel Web is also recorded as being responsible for fatal bites. Its habitat ranges over most of the NSW coast and the Great Dividing Range. This creature lives in trees behind the bark, or in holes in the trunk. Other types of related spiders such as the Northern and Southern Tree Dwelling species, are suspected of similar venom potency, and are found mostly along the south eastern area of Australia.

There are at least 37 species of funnel web spiders. All are medium to large, robust spiders, mostly dark or black in colour, with stout legs and large fangs. Males search for female mates, a process which may increase the chance of unwanted interaction with people, as they may get underfoot, or into shoes or clothing left on or near the floor.

The funnel web will bite repeatedly if in contact with the skin, and when bitten by the funnel web spider the venom enters the body similarly to that of snakes. Anti-venom is available

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« Reply #147 on: February 08, 2007, 11:19:11 PM »

MORE CREATURES THAT PEOPLE (AND CATS!) SHOULD NOT HANDLE

BROWN SNAKE
The Brown Snake may be found all over Australia. It has extremely potent venom, and although the quantity of venom injected is usually small, this snake causes more snakebite deaths in Australia than any other. Sudden and relatively early deaths have been recorded.


TAIPAN
The taipan may be found mostly along the non-desert areas of north and north-east Australia (from Brisbane to Darwin). It is an aggressive, large, slender snake, and may be coloured any shade of brown but always has a rectangular head (large in proportion to the body) and red eye. Venom output is high and the amount retrieved from just one milking from one taipan is enough to kill many million mice. Paralysis is difficult to reverse unless treated early. Untreated, a good bite will almost certainly be fatal.
 

TIGER SNAKE
The tiger snake lives in the temperate southern areas of Australia. The characteristic stripes are not seen all year round, and there is a totally black variant found around the Flinders Ranges area of South Australia. Untreated mortality is about 45%


DEATH ADDER
The death adder has strongly neurotoxic venom; this snake has characteristic appearance and may be striped.


COPPERHEAD
The copperhead is found in Tasmania, Victoria, and the western plains of NSW.  Despite its large venom output, bites are rarely fatal.


REDBELLIED BLACK
The redbellied black snake is found in all eastern non-arid areas. The venom is not as potent as most and no deaths after a redbellied black snake bite have yet been reported.


SMALL SCALED SNAKE
The small scaled snake (sometimes called the inland taipan or fierce snake) has the most potent venom in the world, but is restricted to relatively uninhabited areas of south-western Queensland, so, fortunately, not many people get bitten.
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« Reply #148 on: February 11, 2007, 10:40:17 PM »

It looks and seems to be a beautiful country.If you see a stray tabby,tickling the ivories at the pub,for grub,it may be me.Cat
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« Reply #149 on: February 12, 2007, 05:05:03 AM »

A SCIENTIFIC VIEW OF THE EARLY AUSTRALIANS

Aboriginal history is Australian history.  The history of mankind on the Australian continent did not commence when Captain Cook first landed on the eastern coast in 1770 but 40,000 years before that when the ancient predecessors of the Aboriginal people began their sea voyages south. In this long ago time before even North and South America were inhabited, the first small groups of people began arriving here.  At this time the continent had a very different climate and geography as the second last Ice Age was drawing to a close and there were enormous amounts of ice in the North and South Poles of the world.  The ocean was as much as 400 to 600 feet lower than its present levels, the coastline of Australia extended far into what is now ocean, and New Guinea and Tasmania were part of the one great land mass.  This made it quite possible for people to migrate from South East Asia by island hopping by canoe until about ten thousand years ago when the melting ice caused the sea levels to rise and isolate the continent and the people here.

Stone tools have been found at various sites dating to the Pleistocene era.
This history is not lost : it has been retained in the memories of successive generations of Aboriginal people and passed on through the rich oral tradition of song-poetry and legend.  The early history of the Australian Aboriginal people, of their origins and way of life, their laws, social organization and customs can be found in legends and song-cycles.  Aboriginal oral literature provides us with accounts of the geological changes that have occurred over the ages since the first discovery of the continent, accounts of dramatic landscape changes and the activities of great Spirit Beings.

Each Aboriginal group in Australia has its own version of the great stories.  Some legends overlap different tribal areas, some stories are known by many groups, while others are the province of a few people only.   Traditional Aboriginal life was quickly disrupted in the southern areas of the continent after European settlement.  In a growing number of Aboriginal communities the people themselves are setting up their own literature centres where they are recording, transcribing and translating their stories.  In the traditional communities the rituals remain strong and beliefs in the origin of man and the landscape are unaltered.  Here the deeper truths are the province of the older men, and will only be passed on to others as they fulfill their ceremonial obligations.  Names and pictures of their deceased are not permitted to be shown so that their spirits may rest in peace.  Aboriginals now feel the need to explain their history of the continent as understood by them so that their basic beliefs about the formation of the land and its laws are understood and accepted by all Australians as part of the whole history of Australia.



A replica of Captain Cook's wooden Bark "Endeavour" - 106 ft and 397 tons.  I have seen this replica and there is no way I would go across the river in a boat this size let alone around the world.  I am no sailor!
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« Reply #150 on: February 12, 2007, 05:37:39 AM »

Now here is the Aboriginal version of the same events.  I prefer this one!

THE COMING OF THE FIRST AUSTRALIANS – AN ABORIGINAL LEGEND.

 Long ago in the distant past all the animals that are now in Australia lived in another land far beyond the sea and they were at that time in human form.  One day they met together and decided to set out in a canoe in order to find better hunting grounds over the sea.  The whale, who was much larger than any of the rest, had a bark canoe of great dimensions but would not lend it to any of the others.  As the small canoes of the other animals were unfit for use far from the land, they kept watch daily in the hope that the whale might leave his boat, so that they could get it, and start away on their journey.  The whale however always watched it closely and never let his guard down.
The starfish, a close friend of the whale, formed a plan with the other people to take the attention of the whale away from his canoe, and so give them a chance to steal it.  One day the starfish said to the whale : “You have a great many lice in your head; let me catch them and kill them for you”  The whale, who had been much pestered by the parasites, readily agreed to his friend’s kind offer, and tying up his canoe alongside a rock, they sat down.  The starfish immediately gave the signal to some of the others who then assembled on the beach in readiness to sneak quietly into the canoe as soon as the whale was distracted.

The starfish rested the head of the whale in his lap and began to remove the lice from his head.  The whale was lulled into passivity and did not notice the others quickly get into his canoe and push off shore.  Now and then he would ask  “Is my canoe all right?”  The starfish in reply tapped a piece of loose bark near his leg and said “Yes, this is what I am tapping with my hand” and vigorously scratched near the whale’s ears so he could not hear the splashing of the oars.  This continued until the canoe was nearly out of sight, when suddenly the whale became agitated and jumped up.  Seeing the canoe disappearing in the distance, he was furious at the betrayal of the starfish and beat him unmercifully.  Jumping into the water, the whale then swam away after his canoe, and the starfish, mutilated and tattered, rolled off the rock on which they had been sitting, into the water, and lay on the sand at the bottom.  It was this terrible attack of the whale which gave the starfish his present ragged appearance and his habit of keeping on the sea floor.

The whale pursued the canoe in a fury and spurted water into the air through the wound in his head he had received during his fight with the starfish, a practice which he has retained ever since.  Although the whale swam strongly, the forearms of the koala pulled the oars with great strength for many days and nights until they finally sighted land and beached the canoe safely.  The native companion bird, however, could not stay still and stamping his feet up and down made two deep holes in the canoe.  As it was no longer of any use, he pushed it a little way out to sea where it settled and became a small island.  The whale, exhausted after his long swim turned back along the coast.  He still cruises there today with his descendants, spouting water furiously through the hole in his head.

Southern Right Whale Blowing :



Starfish :

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« Reply #151 on: February 12, 2007, 05:46:52 AM »

ABORIGINAL ART  -  CATERPILLAR DREAMING

Lorna Fencer Napurrula is a Senior Warlpiri Custodian, and has been painting since 1986. Lorna was born about 1920 at Yartula Yartula. Nearby is land inherited by Lorna, Yumurrpa located south of the Granites Mine Area in the Tanami Desert, Northern Territory.  Lorna is among a small group of women who collectively produced the first paintings at Lajamanu, and she was among the many Warlpiri people forcibly relocated  to Lajamanu along Hookers Creek, where a government settlement had been established. This country is the traditional land of the Gurindji Aboriginal people. Despite relocation, Lorna retained her cultural identity through ceremony, story telling and painting her art.

Lorna’s work depicts the bush foods of her country originating from Dreaming stories taught to her involving the travels of the Napurrula and Nakamarra skin(or kinship) and some Dreamings from her father’s country of Wapuurtarli.  Her main Dreamings are about the gathering and growth of bush foods such as the Yarla (Yam), Wapirti and Marlujarra. These Dreamings entitle her to paint subjects such as the bush yam (sweet potato), “ngalatji” (little white flower), bush tomato, berry, caterpillar (luju), wallaby, onion, water and particular   mens stories including boomerangs. The Yarla is an important Dreaming for the Warlpiri women, and a staple food source in the Western Desert. Here Lorna renders it in her distinctive expressive style. Along with visually describing the Yarla, some paintings contain information about when to gather this food source and how to find it.

Lorna working on her painting :



The finished painting :

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« Reply #152 on: February 12, 2007, 12:13:58 PM »

What is a Trap door spider?We have Brown recluse spiders,which are quite unpleasant for people and cats.Your snakes are bigger and more deadly.I see possums in my yard,all the time.don't taSte so good .fun to tease CAt
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« Reply #153 on: February 12, 2007, 01:14:04 PM »

thanks for all of this... TIB!!  What a cool place...This is Red's dream to visit... and mine too!
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« Reply #154 on: February 12, 2007, 05:11:45 PM »

Here you go, Cat :

TRAPDOOR SPIDERS

Most trapdoor spiders but not all are misleadingly named, as not all species make a door for their burrows. These highly camouflaged entrances are almost undetectable, unless the door is open. Common prey items include crickets, moths, beetles and grasshoppers, taken near the entrance to the burrow. Predators of Trapdoor Spiders can include birds, bandicoots, centipedes, scorpions, parasitic wasps and flies.
The female will lay her eggs several months after mating, and protects them within her burrow. When the juveniles have hatched, they remain for several months before dispersing on the ground. They will then make their own miniature burrows. Each time the spider grows bigger, it has to widen its burrow and, in the door-building species, add another rim to the door. In undamaged trapdoors, annual concentric rings can be seen.
Trapdoors have a long life span, between 5 to 20 years, and take several years to reach maturity. Females stay in or near their burrows, whereas males leave their burrows once mature, and go in search of a mate.

Trapdoor Spider's Burrow :



Trapdoor Spider :

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« Reply #155 on: February 12, 2007, 05:15:05 PM »

Quote from: "mrs. red"
thanks for all of this... TIB!!  What a cool place...This is Red's dream to visit... and mine too!


Glad you are enjoying this thread, Mrs Red.  I enjoy finding the articles and searching for pictures.  Let me know if there is anything in particular you are interested in so I can see what I can find.  It is a lovely place and so diverse.
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« Reply #156 on: February 12, 2007, 05:22:19 PM »

Hey, Cat  You don't see too many of these nasty creatures unless you go looking for them as most of them are shy and keep away from humans unless we get too close or interfere with their habitat.
I have not seen very many snakes in the wild, most of the ones I have seen are in a reptile park.  Poisonous spiders also hide and if you don't go poking around in rubbish or undergrowth you won't see many of them.  Have seen redbacks and house spiders but they can be easily chased away.
You can see a lot of lizards and blue tongue lizards but they do not harm you.
Some lizards do look like snakes until you notice they have legs and run very fast!
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« Reply #157 on: February 12, 2007, 09:00:55 PM »

DIDJERIDU PLAYER at a Festival.  All Aboriginal ceremonies and dances are seen and photographed at festivals as they rarely allow white people to see their tribal ceremonies.
Note the modern day amplifier :

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« Reply #158 on: February 12, 2007, 09:05:12 PM »

TRADITIONAL DANCE INCLUDING MEN AND WOMEN

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« Reply #159 on: February 12, 2007, 09:09:23 PM »

CEREMONIAL SHIELDS AND WOMENS DANCING STICKS.
Designs are painted on or stuck on using vegetable down, wild cotton and dyed with red ochre.

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